Russell would be "massive loss" for Williams if he left in 2022

Senior Williams Formula 1 figure Dave Robson says seeing George Russell leave at the end of the year would be a "massive loss", hailing his role in the team's turnaround.

Russell would be "massive loss" for Williams if he left in 2022

Russell made his F1 debut with Williams in 2019 after signing a three-year contract, and while he is yet to score a point for the team, his performances have won him praise throughout the paddock.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have called Russell a potential future world champion, with the 23-year-old yet to be outqualified in 43 races for Williams.

Russell is a free agent at the end of the year, and is in contention for a possible seat with Mercedes, having been a member of its young driver programme since 2017.

Williams head of vehicle performance Robson acknowledged that Russell would be a "huge loss" were he to leave, particularly before getting the chance to fight more competitively with the team.

"It's been fantastic working with him right from when we first put him through the evaluation," Robson said.

"It was obvious he had something about him, some genuinely outstanding talent to drive the car.

"It's been great. Probably frustrating at times, but a great journey to be on with him. Of course he'd be a massive loss – he's genuinely very quick.

"I think we've all put in a lot of time and effort to help him where he needed a bit of help, to guide him, and it would be a real shame to lose that without really seeing the benefits of it in our car.

"It would be a massive loss, but I'm not sure it's something certainly that I've got great control over. If we could keep him, it would be fantastic, but we have to see how that pans out."

Read Also:

Russell has stated that he would like to sign a multi-year deal regardless of where he is racing in 2022, something Williams CEO Jost Capito said the team is happy to offer should he not move elsewhere.

Russell's arrival at Williams coincided with the team hitting its nadir in 2019 as it struggled with an underperforming car and financial difficulties, the latter ultimately leading to the sale of the squad last summer.

Robson said that Russell's technical skills were "right up there" and "as good as anyone in the pit lane", highlighting the role he had played in the team becoming increasingly competitive in the past two years.

"He can take a good amount of credit, to be honest," Robson said.

"2019 was an incredibly difficult baptism of fire, and once he'd got his head around the situation we were in, he was extremely good at being clear about the order of the problems that needed tackling, and his understanding of the compromises you need to make was very good.

"It's not just his technical input to all of that, all the work he does in the simulator and guiding those designs, but also the way he interacts with everyone and his positivity.

"There's something about him. When he talks, people listen, which is important – provided he's talking about the right thing. Perhaps right at the beginning he didn't always get [that] right, but it didn't take him long to suss that out and understand.

"He's been a big part of it."

shares
comments
Alpine chasing answers on lack of F1 race pace

Previous article

Alpine chasing answers on lack of F1 race pace

Next article

British GP to still welcome fans, but numbers may be restricted

British GP to still welcome fans, but numbers may be restricted
Load comments
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Prime

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences.

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Prime

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021